LIMBURGER CHEESE. From Cheese Making by John Decker
ORIGIN OF LIMBURGER.
Limburger cheese is of foreign origin, having come from the province of Luttick in Belgium. Its manufacture in this country is, however, carried on by the Swiss and German rather than by Belgian emigrants.
CHARACTERISTICS OF LIMBURGER.
Limburger is perhaps more generally known by its odor than by anything else. Many people who have never tasted it recognize the odor. But while it is kept cool it does not have such a pronounced odor as when warm. It is found on the market in blocks five inches square and about two inches thick, wrapped in Manila paper and tinfoil. It has a soft texture of a
KIND OF MIIK REQUIRED.
Limburger is made from sweet milk. Except where the milk is gassy, very sweet milk is not an objection as with Swiss or brick cheese, for the reason that it is to be made soft and pasty anyway, and if the milk were too ripe the rennet would expel too much moisture.
A steam vat and curd knives, like those used for Cheddar and brick cheese are used in the manufacture of Limburger.
A draining table like those used for brick cheese is also used but the molds and subsequent handling are different than for brick.
SETTING THE MILK.
As the milk used may be sweeter than for brick it should be set at 90° F., which is a little higher temperature than is used in making brick cheese. It is probably made up twice a day and the temperature of it when received may be a little higher than this. If it does happen to be higher it can be set at the temperature it happens to be without cooling it to 90°. Enough rennet should be used to coagulate the milk in twenty to thirty minutes.
Cooking limburger curd.
The curd is cut when as firm as for Cheddar and brick, that is, when it will break over the finger with a clean fracture.
The curd is stirred and the temperature raised in the same manner as for the above mentioned kinds with the exception that the firming is done at a lower temperature. Ninety-six degrees is
the temperature at which it is usually cooked. If the milk is very sweet the temperature must necessarily be a little higher than when some acid has developed. The curd is dipped when
a little softer than in making brick cheese.
DIPPING THE CURD.
When the curd is firm enough the whey is drawn down so that it just covers the curd as is done in making brick cheese.
The Limburger mold is made just like the brick mold with the exception that it is twenty inches long instead of ten. The curd is dipped into these molds and allowed to settle together, brick
pressure being applied. After about half an hour it may be turned over. After resting in this position for fifteen or twenty minutes the mold is lifted from the cheese, which is then a block
five by twenty inches, and two and a half to three inches thick.
It is next divided into four sections so that each section will be five inches square. The cutting may be done with a common large bladed knife, but a better contrivance is a knife with three
blades five inches apart. It is made in the following manner:
A heavy piece of tin five inches wide and fifteen inches long is reinforced by a strong wire in the edge. Three pieces of heavy tin, four inches wide by five inches long, with the ends turned
over to stiffen them, are soldered five inches apart on one side of the large piece of metal. By simply pressing this instrument down on the block of curd, the three bla.des cut into four equal
LIMBURGER PRESSING TABLE.
The cakes are next transferred very carefully to the pressing table. This can hardly be called a press, as the cheese get no pressure beyond their own weight. The table is like the draining
table with sides four inches high, but no draining boards are used. A rectangular frame the size of the table fits inside the table. A row of the cakes is placed along one side and are divided by wooden partitions four inches high and five inches long. When the row is completed a long strip, the length of the table, is placed against the row and another row is laid down. In this manner several rows are laid down and the last long strip held in place by several sticks wedged in between the strip and the opposite side of the table. The cakes are turned a number of times in order to drain them and firm the surfaces.
The temperature of the room should be about 6O° F. In twenty-four hours they go to the salting table.
Limburger is salted in much the same way as brick cheese. First the edges are rolled over in a box of salt and then salt rubbed on the two broad surfaces. It is laid on the draining table in single layers for the first day. The second day it is salted again in the same way and piled in two layers. The third day it is salted again and piled three or four layers deep. Limburger
Is salted on the average about four days.
The curing of Limburger is a putrefactive fermentation. It goes from the salting table to the curing shelves, where the cakes are laid on their broad sides. They are washed every day with water to keep them free from mould and to keep them moist. The atmosphere of the cellar should have a relative humidity of 95 and the temperature should be about 58°F.
63° F. Lender these conditions the surface soon begins to get shiny and soft and change from white to a reddish yellow. This change works its way to the center, changing the harsh curd to
a soft condition. After about ten days the cheese may be set close together on their edges. This change requires from four to six weeks to work to the center, and the cheese is then ready
The cheese is first wrapped in Manila paper and then in tinfoil and is packed in boxes twenty inches wide, five inches deep and thirty-six inches long. It may be held in storage for a month or two longer before it reaches the consumer, but being so soft it is not long lived.
CAUSE OF THE PUTREFACTIVE FERMENTATION.
The main cause of the putrefactive fermentation is the extremely moist condition in which it is kept. It may be brought about in harder cheese like brick and Cheddar, if they are kept wet, or come in contact with each other or a moist wall in a very moist atmosphere.